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By Ron Brzoska

When you read this, read it with the cadence of a Jeff Foxworthy “You might be a redneck” joke. The only problem is that this isn’t funny.

If you have to take over 1/6 of the economy to give insurance to 1/300 of the people… you are living in Obama’s America.

If your IRS Director is in contempt of Congress… you are living in Obama’s America. lois lerner

If you say the economy is on recovery as the real unemployment rate continues to rise… you are living in Obama’s America.

If major financial reform (Dodd-Frank) doesn’t include the two entities largely responsible… you are living in Obama’s America. imagesCAJ1XMS9

If a law is unpopular, and the president’s answer is to pick and chose which parts to enforce or delay… you are living in Obama’s America.

If members of your oversight committee are implicated in the very investigation they are overseeing… you are living in Obama’s America.           cummings

If requiring ID for early voting is fine, but requiring ID for election day itself is racist… you are living in Obama’s America.

If you campaign against the evil corporations, and then appoint the CEOs to your cabinet… you are living in Obama’s America.                                                                                                                                          imagesCAALOSBS

If we can’t dispatch soldiers to save an American ambassador, but we can dispatch troops to stop a cattle drive… you are living in Obama’s America.

stevens

If your HHS Secretary resigns in weariness and frustration after touting the success of her crowning historic achievement… you are living in Obama’s America.                                                                                                                              sebelius

If your Attorney General gives weapons to drug cartels, but wants tracking bracelets for law-abiding citizens wanting to exercise their 2nd Amendment rights… you are living in Obama’s America.                                                            holder

If a shooter yelling “Allahu Ackbar” before opening fire at a military base is termed “workplace violence”… you are living in Obama’s America.

nidal hassan

If SuperPac money is evil, but Big Labor donations are unquestionable… you are living in Obama’s America.

If rising insurance premiums are called “affordable” while a free ID is called an undue hardship… you are living in Obama’s America.

And finally…

If you didn’t vote for this president, and you can’t understand why anyone did… you are living in Obama’s America.

obamagump

By Ron Brzoska

Last Wednesday the Supreme Court struck down the limits on aggregate campaign contributions and the left nearly lost their collective minds. (Ha! Get it? …”left”… “collective”… guess you had to be there.) Anyway, the left is portraying the decision as the end of campaign finance reform (as if it ever existed) and that an infinite amount of money from the Koch Brothers is about to flood every election. Between this and the Citizens United decision, progressives would have you believing that the Republicans are now destined to win every election.

The narrative has long been that big money goes to the Republican Party. This is a long-standing fallacy; one that I can’t believe the Republican Party hasn’t been able to demonstrate. Since January of 1989, $3,014,026,066.00 has been donated to political campaigns by groups known as “heavy hitters.”

http://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php

Of that, 38.9% ($1,172,121,553.44) went to Republican candidates while 55.5% ($1,671,916,127.09) went to Democratic Party candidates. The remainder went to third-party or candidates in non-partisan races. Even with the disparity among the two major parties, we are still talking about enormous sums of money. So for the left to be against large campaign contributions from corporations, they would be hurting themselves right? Not so much. If you take the money from these evil corporations out of the coffers of the respective parties, you get the following: Democrats drop by 33% to $1,123,181,257.78 while the Republicans lose 65% of their funding to put them at $412,423, 629.59. The Democrats ratio of campaign dollars over the Republicans would be nearly three to one.  That is an advantage that no one can overcome. Let’s be honest, the hue and cry over campaign contributions has nothing to do with the desire for purity and innocence in elections. It’s about power.

 

bigstock_Falling_Money_669153

Photo also courtesy of http://www.opensecrets.org

By Ron Brzoska

Most bad news is buried on a Friday. The most famous example is that companies tend to do their layoffs on a Friday. I have noticed that government has taken to this strategy in the last few years. Think back to how many times you have heard about a tax increase, bill, resignation, or report with a negative result on a Friday. The idea is that the public is so focused on the weekend that they won’t be as upset by the news, if they even care at all.

This past Friday, The Illinois General Assembly passed a couple of joint resolutions out of committee hoping we wouldn’t notice.

The first one was HJRCA52. This resolution is about voting rights and was filed by Speaker of the House, and Illinois Democratic Party Chairman, Michael Madigan. If passed, it will be on the ballot in November for adoption to the state constitution. The language is very harmless on its surface and quite admirable.

No person shall be denied the right to register to vote or to cast a ballot in an election based on race, color, ethnicity, status as a member of a language minority, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or income.

The language is so good that it passed with bi-partisan support… even though no one could understand why it was needed. My state rep, Ron Sandack, voted for this resolution in committee even though he has been quoted asking for an instance where someone was discriminated against, which would call for this resolution. Afterall, the Illinois Constitution already says “All elections shall be free and equal.” Funny though, it is just like government to take a seven word sentence and turn it into a forty word sentence. To answer Representative Sandack’s question, HJRCA52 is not about policy; it’s about agenda. Madigan and the Democrats do not want voter ID legislation to go through. The tactic that they have taken is to equate voter identification with discrimination, particularly racism. Madigan just wrote his resolution to leave no stone unturned. No one is for discrimination, so even the Republicans will vote for it. Madigan wants Republicans on the record for the time when someone tries to introduce a bill for voter identification. Either he will portray the politician as racist, or the legislation as such. Then Madigan will point towards the state constitution and the overwhelming vote that placed his resolution there as reasons to defeat any voter integrity initiative. You don’t get to be king of Illinois for forty years by being dumb.

The second resolution is SJRCA40. This is the latest attempt to introduce a progressive tax system.  A little more than a week ago, the first progressive tax bill was rejected in committee. It was very easy to see that it was a tax increase on every person on Illinois, which isn’t going to be very popular, but that doesn’t mean the Democrats want to stop trying. Speaker Madigan had floated the idea of a “Millionaire Tax” and here, on Friday, Senator Don Harmon (D) got his progressive tax resolution through his committee. How convenient. SJRCA40 reads as follows:

There may be one tax on the income of individuals and corporations. This may be a fair tax where lower rates apply to lower income levels and higher rates apply to higher income levels.

Please note that there is no mention of millionaires. Please note that the language used is “lower” and “higher”. This not only indicates initial subjectivity when the rates are established, but allows for the rates to be changed to satisfy the opinions of higher and lower incomes at a future date. There also is nothing written into this resolution that limits us to two tax brackets. This resolution doesn’t place a limit on the number of tax brackets. This, my fiends, is a progressive tax system by any other name.

So what do we do? We tell the truth in any forum we possess. We tell the truth over and over again. We bring sunshine to the intentions of Illinois Democrats and we wake up the voters. Democrats don’t want to stop election fraud because they thrive on it. If you disagree, you will be labeled a racist. The Democrats want to tax your prosperity. If you disagree, you will be labeled as greedy. The truth, specifically the truth spoken loudly and by many, is the only way out of this.

It was just two years ago when President Obama was caught on an open mic saying the following to Russian President Dimitri Medvedev:

President Obama: On all these issues, but particularly missile defense, this, this can be solved but it’s important for him to give me space.

President Medvedev: Yeah, I understand. I understand your message about space. Space for you…

President Obama: This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility.

President Medvedev: I understand. I will transmit this information to Vladimir.

While this was chalked up then to mean only missile defense, and was generally portrayed in the media as another case of the right making another one of their crazy conspiracy theories, considering what has happened with the Ukraine and Russia’s annexation of the Crimea… should we take another look? No, I am not saying our president is in on it or condones the Russian actions, but what if Russian President Medveved didn’t really understand what President Obama meant?

I take President Obama’s statements as a kind brush off. He probably found some of the positions held by the Russians to be in conflict with what he wanted to do, and what the United States wanted to do, particularly in an election year. Rather than creating ill will between Russia and America at a time when he was vulnerable, Obama wanted to table those issues for a future time.

Fast forward to today. Have we followed up? Probably not? Did we clarify our positions? Who knows? Did Medvedev, Putin, and the Russian policy makers perceive Obama’s assurances as consent and agreement… and that he only needed to get through the election before he could formally endorse them? Did the Russians have the same perception as the “vast right-wing conspiracy”?

I learned a long time ago that perception is reality. This may be a lesson that our president was naïve about in this case.

I heard a great joke from a caller to the WLS-AM morning show with Bruce Wolf and Dan Proft. The caller was talking about the trip First Lady Michelle Obama and her daughters took to China when he said…

This has to be the most expensive mani/pedi in history. Whenever my wife wants a manicure, I send her to the Chinese lady down the street, I don’t send her to China.

How much did the trip cost? Due to security concerns since 9/11, the costs of trips these types of trips are not publicly detailed, but in 1999 President Clinton took a weeklong trip to China documented at a cool $18 million.

MichelleAntoinettephoto from American Thinker

Being a conservative Republican in Illinois means that from time to time you are going to feel like Charlie Brown. Every once in a while, just as you are starting to feel good and like you are part of the team, Lucy pulls the ball away from you and you land on your butt. That happened today when Senators Mark Kirk and John Cornyn were asked about Jim Oberweis and his bid to unseat Democrat senator Dick Durbin. In one sentence, each senator undermined the candidate and their own party.

First Mark Kirk:

“I’m going to be protecting my relationship with Dick and not launching into a partisan jihad that hurts our partnership [in which we] both pull together for Illinois.”

Then John Cornyn, the head of the Republican Senatorial Committee in charge of promoting Republican senatorial candidates:

“The reason I’m here is for my own reelection, and so I’m not getting involved in the Illinois Senate race at this time.”

So Mark Kirk does not want to hurt his partnership with Dick Durbin. A partnership implies that your goals and strategies are aligned. If this is true, how can he call himself a Republican? You certainly can’t call Dick Durbin a conservative Democrat, let alone a Republican. Mark Kirk is surrendering the battle before the first shot can be fired. Here we are mere days from the several unity events across the state where Republicans are asked to put aside their differences and rally behind the primary winners, and the highest Republican elected official in the land is waving the white flag because it doesn’t help him.

John Cornyn is even worse if you think about it. He has no relationship with Durbin. He has nothing to fear by supporting Oberweis. In fact, he is the head of an organization with the state purpose of electing Republicans to the Senate. To be non-committal to Oberweis is a dereliction of duty.

These two statements by Kirk and Cornyn are not leadership. They are cowardice. We expect more of you. Wake up!

Mark Kirk

Quotes are courtesy of http://www.wlsam.com.

http://www.wlsam.com/common/page.php?pt=Oberweis+shunned+by+fellow+Republicans&id=90473&is_corp=0

 

By Ron Brzoska

Since last Tuesday, I have seen a number of news reports and articles telling us what the results of the Illinois primaries mean for us that live here, and how it projects to the rest of the country. Since they completely miss the mark, I am compelled to relate my experience and tell you what I have learned.

THE ILGOP IS WEAKER THAN EVER

If one general conclusion can be drawn and a brush swept broadly across a banner in the sky, this is what it would have to say. This is quite a statement when you compare it to the bloodbath Illinois experienced in November of 2012. I should be more specific. The ILGOP establishment is weaker than ever before. I say this for a number of reasons. First and foremost is Bruce Rauner. The final tally will say that he only won by three points. This is a misnomer. Rauner would have won by well over ten points in a four man field if it weren’t for the massive GOTV effort made by the unions that came to back Kirk Dillard. The party is now embracing Bruce Rauner, but they need to do some introspection and answer these questions for themselves:

  • After the debacle of 2010, why weren’t they able to recruit a field better than two retreads and a one that would be easy to blackmail? Did they try?
  • Is it ok for republicans in Illinois to recruit from voter bases that are decidedly not Republicans only to be beholden to them later.
  • Will Bruce Rauner be as interested in furthering the Republican party as he has been in furthering his own ambitions?
  • Will the Rauner voters stay with the party after he is gone?
  • Why was the only real hope and excitement for Illinois’ future provided by someone who is known as Rahm Emmanuel’s vacation buddy?

Another area of weakness was exhibited by the House Republican Organization (HRO). They seem to favor compliance over participation in the political process. They spent hundreds of thousands of dollars protecting their candidates from primary challenges. This has House Minority Leader Jim Durkin beside himself. He was so upset that he held a press conference where he sounded more like an Occupy Wall Street protester lamenting the Koch Brothers than a Republican leader. He was not happy with the dollars spent by Liberty PAC, Illinois Family Action, and others to unseat incumbents that had voting records that Michael Madigan approved of, but their constituents did not. When asked if those same restrictions and levels of transparency should be applied to the HRO, Durkin refused to answer. Do as I say and not as I do.

This weakness manifested itself in the nastiness exhibited in this election. You have the ugliness of the Rutherford scandal. Then there was Goel v Kaifesh, Sandack v Matune, Sullivan v Bednar, Gorman v Bellar, and others. Without rehashing any of the details and bad blood, it is safe to say that strong leadership within the ILGOP would not have tolerated it and candidates would have been less inclined to behave that way in the first place.

The last point demonstrating Republican weakness, was some Republican candidates appealing to Democrats to vote for them as a last resort. While theses candidates never uttered the words “Democrats, vote for me” their operatives actively made calls, posted on social media, and handed out fliers. The polling firm of Ogden and Fry has reported that approximately 65,000 votes for Kirk Dillard could be attributed to Democratic crossover votes. There obviously had to be some kind of effect down-ballot. I’m certain that my state rep district was decided by Democrats. I know teachers that were called and told to pull republican ballots, and I saw democrats tell my state rep that they voted for him. Ask yourself what if this happened in our governor’s race. What if Dillard had won, and he had the Democrats to thank? He didn’t run a social conservative platform (he made appeals, but it was not the thrust of his race). What couldn’t the Republicans offer that an “outsider” could?  Could we have been proud of that?

BUT THERE ARE BETTER DAYS AHEAD

There were encouraging signs however. Although they didn’t win their races, the campaigns of Doug Truax and Chris Balkema have to be eye openers. Both were a lot closer than expected and there is reason to believe that Democratic crossover would have benefitted them. God willing, this is not the last we hear of these two conservatives.

We also got some great victories across the state of Illinois. We have a promising candidate to take on Tammy Duckworth in Larry Kaifesh (CD-8). A handful of state reps give us a reason to feel the future is bright in election night winners Mark Ekhoff (34th), Jeannie Ives (Re-elected in district 42, but faced an establishment challenger), Peter Breen (48th), Keith Wheeler (50th), John D. Anthony (75th), Mark Batinick (97th), and Reggie Phillips (110th). Along with these gains are stories of victories in every county across the state. We have something to believe in and are waking up. Let’s keep it going.

Prologue: I sent this on February 25th. To date I have not received the courtesy of a response from either of them, an aide, or even an email auto-response. Since February 25th the House Republican Organization mailers have become even more vicious and toxic. I am ashamed of my party. I am distributing this publicly because the voice of the electorate needs to be heard, not ignored.

 

Leader Durkin and Representative Bellock,

My name is Ron Brzoska. I am a precinct committeeman in Downers Grove Township, precinct 104. I have been a consistent and hard worker in my precinct, first as an assistant, and now finishing my first term as an elected committeeman. I am an administrator on the DGTRO Facebook page and was one of the top petition circulators in the township despite living in a “blue” precinct. I tell you these things not to brag, but rather to illustrate my commitment to the Republican Party, and the quality of life that our beliefs bring to our families and neighbors.

That commitment is shaken.

Before the remap, I had the good fortune of having Representative Bellock as my representative in Springfield. Since the remap, I have had Ron Sandack as my state rep. I voted for him two years ago and have regretted it more often than not with each of his votes since. Ron Sandack misrepresented himself to me and does not represent the votes and values that I and most Republicans have. That is why I am supporting Keith Matune in this election.  Naturally, the HRO is supporting the incumbent. I understand HRO’s position of supporting its teammates and can appreciate it. I also appreciate positive pieces that highlight the credentials of the incumbent. What I do not appreciate is the lengths that HRO is going in this election to support this particular incumbent. I received the HRO mailer against Keith Matune. Because I live in School District 99, I know that it is a lie. I am angry to see a personal friend smeared, and ashamed that my party leadership would authorize distribution of flat out lies made against a fellow Republican. How do I sell the Republican Party to the voters of my precinct when they see this kind of vicious dishonesty on display?  The side of the mailer with the woman and her house in foreclosure is downright disgraceful. It is reminiscent of the attacks Democrats made on Paul Ryan where they said his budget was pushing grandmothers off of cliffs.

In the event you believe that I am mistaken, I am also attaching the real Matune voting record along with quotes from the District 99 board meeting minutes and Tribune stories where it is perfectly clear that he did not vote to raise the property tax levy. I will be spending the remainder of the primary season setting the record straight with as many voters in the 81st district as I can. My job to get out the vote for Republicans is harder now. People are not stupid. The question I am getting now is “If Republicans will lie about their own, what else will they lie about?”

I respectfully ask that a public retraction be made regarding the lies made about Keith Matune. Short of that, I can only say the disappointment and disillusionment that I and other die-hard Republicans have for what should be a stellar leadership team will grow.

Respectful and kindest regards,

Ron Brzoska – Precinct Committeeman – DGTRO – 104

Matune Tax Vote Facts

The following post was in this past Wednesday’s edition of Illinois Review.  http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2014/02/ideology-affiliation-and-the-choice-to-intervene.html

The writer, John F. Di Leo, hits it right on the head.

Subtitle: “Bruce Rauner and The Case of the Disturbing Checkbook”

Pennsylvania is a swing state.

Now, when we say this in politics, it can mean a number of different things. It can mean that the people tend to be moderate, or it can mean that the people are evenly split between conservative and liberal, or a number of other possible mixes too. In any case, it means that the state is winnable for either party in most election years (if the polls are kept reasonably free of the Democratic vote fraud that plagues so many of our big cities, anyway).

If you look at the list of Pennsylvania governors over the past century, you’re surprised at how evenly distributed the victories have been. A Republican, then a Democrat. Two Republicans, then two Democrats. Back and forth the state has flipped, from the Philadelphia liberals to the conservative Republicans outstate.

It’s surprisingly similar to Illinois in this regard, in fact, as our little northwest corner’s Chicagoland serves as an unfortunate counterweight to the much wiser Republican area that we call “downstate Illinois.” An evenly balanced electorate means that either party can win statewide elections, if they run the right candidate and campaign well.

In 2002, the state of Pennsylvania was in a challenging, but not bad, position. Republican Dick Thornburgh had held the governor’s mansion for two terms in the 1980s, then Democrat Bob Casey held it for two terms from the late 80s into the 90s, and then Republican Tom Ridge was elected to two terms in the late 90s and into the 2000s.

But then there was a monkey wrench, thrown by the islamofascist attacks of September 11, 2001. The nation’s capital decided to create a new federal Department of Homeland Security… and President George W. Bush decided that Pennsylvania’s incumbent governor, Tom Ridge, would be perfect for the new post of DHS Secretary. This left the governor’s mansion in the hands of the popular – but perhaps not popular enough? – Mark Schweiker.

While the GOP leadership liked Governor Schweiker, the state’s movers and shakers knew that 2002 would be a tough election year, so they decided to run the state’s popular conservative Attorney General, Mike Fisher, for governor. Fisher had won two statewide elections for AG already, and it was a proven launching point in many states, so it made sense. Their own former governor Dick Thornburgh, for example, had served as the nation’s AG under Presidents Reagan and Bush… the role is identified with solid executive authority. It’s a great resume for a gubernatorial candidate.

2002 was a tough year for Republicans nationally, however, and Mike Fisher lost. Ed Rendell, Mayor of Philadelphia, won the Democrat nomination, and early money helped the left-wing Ed Rendell beat him, (the first Philadelphia official to win the office in nearly a century, in fact), 53.4% to 44.4%.

While this is certainly a sizable defeat, it’s not a 70/30 kind of thing, as many races are these days. The magic number was five percent; if the last five percent who ended up deciding on Rendell had voted for Fisher, it would have been Fisher’s night instead.

Early Money

Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell won the Democrat primary, and immediately, money started coming in from all over the country. The Democrats naturally wanted to make the most of a midterm election under the opposing party’s president – that’s normal – and the swing states in Republican hands got their focus. By choosing to run an incumbent who had won two statewide elections already, the Republicans had ensured that the Democrats would have to spend money to beat him.

The Democrats were willing to do it. They were running the chairman of the DNC, after all; every likely donor to any Democrat campaign knew who he was. Ed Rendell was the Terry McAuliffe, Howard Dean, Tim Kaine, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz of his time, but even so, flipping a governor’s mansion isn’t easy… especially in a state notorious for punishing the Philadelphia elites at the ballot box. A study of statistics would say that Rendell’s chances were slim, despite all the connections he brought to the table.

Chicago businessman Bruce Rauner, principal with GTCR LLC, a financial management firm, wrote Ed Rendell two checks that we know of – a $200,000 check very early in the race, and another $100,000 nearer the election. This $300,000 total, a windfall from an out-of-state businessman with huge state contracts with Pennsylvania (which doubled during the Rendell administration), certainly helped Ed Rendell win that election.

We have the advantage of hindsight today. We know that Ed Rendell won two terms, and became something of a rock star among Democrats as a result. He’s interviewed on the talk shows, he gives speeches, he’s a mover and shaker still. Knowing that Rendell won, this donation can appear an understandable contribution in a world of pay-to-play government contracting.

At the time, however, it was no such thing.

2002 was not the typical midterm election, in which the president’s party always takes a drubbing. 1996, 1998, and 2000 were not landslide elections, so there was no multitude of lucky Republican winners in Congress to turn out in 2002. President Bush was generally respected for his management of the post-9/11 foreign policy arena, so the November General election was a generally proper one: the better candidates with money who worked hard would win, without much of a national tide on either side to interfere.

In this environment, Attorney General Mike Fisher could be expected to do well.

Unfortunately for Pennsylvania and the country, however, Ed Rendell was able to pull in the kind of early money, spent well, that did damage against the conservative sitting state attorney general. Plenty of Republicans worked hard for Mike Fisher, but he was outspent 3 to 1 in a terribly expensive $50 million election season.

Putting $300,000.00 in context

What does Bruce Rauner’s $300,000 for Ed Rendell mean in this context? As an out-of-state person, Mr. Rauner would not have been expected to give a penny, so the $300,000 was gravy to the Rendell campaign. But we should look at it differently, to get the full impact.

As a big state contractor, Rendell’s campaign was reported to have “hoped for” $50,000 or so. When they got $200,000 at first, and yet another $100,000 later, it was reported to have surprised them. So, even accepting the idea of Rauner being a supporter and donor of left-wing Democrat Rendell, there’s still $250,000 of gravy for the Rendell campaign, unexpected and helpful in their goal of burying AG Fisher.

Radio ads in Pennsylvania, as in every state, run the gamut from cheap to expensive, with pricing ranging from under a hundred dollars per spot to several hundred. Think of what this $300,000 meant to the Rendell campaign. It was (or could have been) a thousand $300 radio ads… or three thousand $100 radio ads. Ads that Ed Rendell could use to bury Mike Fisher in the polls, early on, so that Fisher could never recover. Do you realize the impact of a media onslaught like that?

Or we can look at it another way. Bruce Rauner had no personal reason to be involved in Pennsylvania politics, but if he chose to – and he certainly could – as a Republican (yes, he says he both is and was a Republican), then it would make sense for him to donate to Republican Mike Fisher, not left-wing Democrat Ed Rendell.

Bruce Rauner is telling Illinois conservatives today that he’s one of them, that Bruce Rauner is a conservative, constitutional , small-government guy.

Well, that’s exactly what Mike Fisher is! Bruce Rauner didn’t HAVE to meddle in another state’s gubernatorial election, but if he chose to, why didn’t he help out Mike Fisher, the candidate most like the Illinois conservatives whom Rauner is currently asking for a nomination?

Think back to 2002 in Illinois. The Illinois GOP was stuck with the lackluster moderate Jim Ryan for a nominee; we would have loved to have a more dynamic, popular candidate like Mike Fisher at the top of our ticket. Bruce Rauner’s lack of excitement over the Illinois governor’s race might be understandable; we can see why he’d look for another state with a good Republican candidate worth helping.

Mike Fisher would have made sense. Rauner’s money would have been critical assistance to the outspent Fisher, and might have helped to stanch the bleeding as Rendell’s special interest money and union in-kind contributions started racking up. If Rauner had donated heavily to Mike Fisher, it would have been a logical and helpful act by a real Republican.

But that’s not what happened. Bruce Rauner, the alleged conservative Republican, bankrolled left-winger Ed Rendell against the conservative Republican Mike Fisher. This means that we shouldn’t look at the money as $300,000 at all.

Since he should have donated to Fisher instead, one can argue that this gift was an effective donation of $600,000 to Rendell: the $300,000 he gave Rendell, plus the $300,000 he denied Fisher by doing so.

If he liked Rendell, while really being a conservative at heart as he claims, he could have been justified in staying out of the race entirely. “Look,” he could say, “I like you, but I’m a Republican… so, tell ya what, I just won’t donate to Fisher. I’d be happy with either of you winning.” A peculiar position in a race in which the two candidates disagreed on virtually everything imaginable, but this argument has been given by other big money donors in the past. Rendell probably would even have been grateful.

But Bruce Rauner didn’t say that. He just wrote checks. $300,000 to one of the nation’s most prominent leftists, to help usher the Democrats back into the Pennsylvania governer’s mansion.

That may make Rauner the single most influential person in the distant Pennsylvania election that cost the GOP a critical governorship and did untold damage in the years since. Eight years of Ed Rendell at the helm enabled the Democrat vote machine to make Pennsylvania more winnable for the Democrats in national elections; even though Republican former AG Tom Corbett flipped the governor’s mansion again in 2010 and won it back, Rendell’s machine helped deliver Pennsylvania for Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012. How might those elections have gone if Rendell hadn’t had those two terms in the governor’s mansion, with Bruce Rauner’s help?

Interpreting the story in 2014

Bruce Rauner tells us today that he’s a Republican. In fact, he tells us that he’s a conservative, a populist, the kind of guy whom good Reaganites, good tea partiers, good movement conservatives should support without a question.

But we know better. In the best possible test case in Bruce Rauner’s personal history, one that would be viewed by a scientist as a “double blind test” since his participation was by no means necessary (he didn’t know either candidate personally, and didn’t live in the state) Rauner chose to help the ultra-left-wing Ed Rendell for governor against the platform Republican Mike Fisher, helping to give the Democrats one more huge plum on Election Day.

Illinois Republicans have learned to give candidates the benefit of the doubt, to forgive the occasional wandering off the reservation on controversial issues, even to forgive clumsy statements or painful personal foibles.

But this isn’t the average forgivable flaw. Reaching across state lines to bankroll Ed Rendell over Mike Fisher is like supporting Lawton Chiles over Jeb Bush in Florida in 1994… like supporting Tom Barrett over Scott Walker in Wisconsin in 2010… like supporting Carter against Reagan in 1980.

Giving $300,000 to a progressive big city mayor, a Democrat’s Democrat and the head of their national party… and then mustering up the gall to call yourself a Republican, and to seek the Republican party’s nomination for governor of Illinois? Not even apologizing for it as a mistake, but trying to convince conservatives that he supported Ed Rendell because – get this – he thought that the sitting national shop steward of the union-owned-and-controlled Democratic National Party would “stand up to unions” if he won???

There’s only one word for that. Unforgivable.

Copyright 2014 John F. Di Leo

John F. Di Leo is a Chicago-based Customs broker and international trade compliance trainer. A lifetime Republican, he has served as a precinct captain and minor party leader in both Illinois and Wisconsin, including one term as chairman of the Milwaukee County Republican Party in the mid-1990s. He has never had $300,000 to donate to anybody, but if he did, he sure wouldn’t have given it to Ed Rendell.

Permission is hereby granted to forward freely, provided it is uncut and the IR URL and byline are included. Follow John F. Di Leo on LinkedIn or Facebook, or on Twitter at @johnfdileo.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!

… And remember when we told them that it would save $160 Billion? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

… Oh, good times! (chuckle)
pension_siging

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